savage lever 99 and the cartridges used in them HISTORY?

Discussion in 'Lever Action' started by goose, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. goose

    goose Guest

    i have came across a few people who have never heard of the 303 savage. No it was not a 303 british round. in fact it was the first round developed by savage and is much like the 30-30 and 32 winchesters. below you will find some history on their rounds incase anyone was interested.

    The Four Savage Cartridges

    Left to Right: .303 Savage, .300 Savage, .250-3000, .22 High Power

    The .303 was the first to be developed by Savage, being initially manufactured by UMC in 1895. They were stamped "S.R.A. CO." with "303". These early Savage brand cartridges were loaded with a 190 grain softpoint bullet and their own smokeless powders. Their claim was 2000 fps, which, with the heavier bullet, gave it more energy that the 30-30. Apparently later, the 180 grain bullet as well as others became more common. Later stamps on Savage cartridges were "S.A. CO." with "303" and, as shown above, "S.A. CORP." with "303 SAV".

    The caliber itself is kind of a misnomer. The barrels are standard .30 caliber. The cartridges were loaded with .311 inch bullets rather than the standard .308 inch 30 cali-
    ber bullets. The theory was the tighter fit would increase pressures and therefore velocity. Savage produced a number of different components for loading including the 180 grain nickel plated softpoints shown on the right. Later, this caliber was loaded with .308 inch bullets. Are there any commercial loads anymore?

    Introduced in 1912, the equivalents of the
    22 high power can still be found in the
    5.6 X 52 manufactured by Sellier & Bellot, Norma, and others.

    Designed in 1914, this was the first "factory" round to pass the 3000 fps mark. However, it could not meet this goal with a 100-grain bullet but did so when the weight was reduced to 87 grains.

    Developed in 1920, it is essentially a shortened .30-06 with a short neck. What can I say? This is still a great deer round for short and medium ranges!

    Roll your own?
  2. huntswithdogs

    huntswithdogs Moderator

    Hey Goose,

    Thanks for the history lesson! Man, some of those boxes are OLD!! Was the final picture of a reloading tool? If so, that really brings the word/term "handloader" up to what it used to mean.

    As for some of us never having heard of a 303 savage,I'm one of them that hadn't and stand corrected for doubting ya.

    Thanks again!!!


  3. goose

    goose Guest

    it is basically a glorified 32 or 30-30 for what it amounts to.

    sad thing is those boxes looka ll to familiar to me. thats what i use to hunt with

    My dad has alteast one of each of those factory loads.

    as far as the tool at the bottom yes it was a hand loading tool.

    there are modern versions of it as well that are still redily available. i think lee and redding make them.

    they are called handi loaders and they work grat in a pinch for smaller shells. would not want to try one on a manum though.

    But for all practically purposes i can remember my grandpa sitting up in the loft of his barn all day melting lead and casting them with gas checks then sitting there and hand loading 3 at a time with a balance beam scale and testing it out.

    the man would sit up there all day till he worked out what he thought was a good load then he would come down and out came the old press to work up a few boxes